2007 CALIFORNIA FOOTBALL
Pac-10 Opener: Saturday, September 22; 3 p.m. (PT)
#6/8 California (3-0) vs. Arizona (1-2)
Berkeley, Calif. - California Memorial Stadium
TV: Versus. Broadcast Team: Ted Robinson (PxP), Kelly Stouffer (Analyst), Lewis Johnson (sideline). Versus is a national cable network that is available in 72 million homes. To find out if Versus is available in specific areas, visit www.versus.com and input the zip code for that area. On Comcast in the Bay Area, it is Channel 75, while on Direct TV, it is Channel 603.
Radio: KGO Radio (810 AM) in San Francisco (Joe Starkey, Troy Taylor, Todd McKim) - and affiliate stations KMZT Radio (1260 AM Los Angeles), XSURF Radio (540 AM San Diego), KNTK Radio (102.3 Weed), KCBL Radio (1340 AM Fresno), KESP Radio (970 AM Modesto), KVBL Radio (1400 AM Visalia) and KNRO Radio (1670 AM Redding).
Before And After: Each broadcast begins with a 30-minute pregame show that leads to the kickoff. The postgame includes reaction from the Bears' locker room and the "Postgame at the Paragon" live program from the Paragon Bar & Cafe at the Claremont Resort & Spa.
XM Satellite Radio: Cal fans can also track the Bears through XM Satellite Radio, a corporate partner of the Pacific-10 Conference. Football action can be heard on XM channels 193, 194 and 195.
GOLDEN BEAR FACTS
2006 Record: 10-3
2006 Pac-10 Record/Finish: 7-2/T1st
Head Coach: Jeff Tedford
Alma Mater/Year: Fresno State/1983
Record at Cal/Year: 46-20/6th
Career Record/Years: Same
Football SID: John Sudsbury
Office Phone: 510-643-4723
Ticket Info: 800-GO-BEARS
Games Played: 25
Series Record: Tied, 12-12-2
First Meeting: 10/14/78, Cal, 33-20
Last Meeting: 11/11/06, Arizona, 24-20
Current Streak: Cal win 3 of 4
Tedford vs. Arizona: 3-2
Cal completed its non-conference schedule with a 42-12 win over the visiting Louisiana Tech Bulldogs on Saturday. The Golden Bears now prepare for the conference opener versus Arizona on Sept. 22 in Memorial Stadium. With Saturday's win, Cal has now started a season 3-0 for the fourth time in the Jeff Tedford era. The Bears' best start to a season in the Tedford era was in 2005 at 5-0. The victory on Saturday, helped the Bears climb two spots to No. 6 in the AP Top 25 poll. Cal remained at No. 8 in the Coaches Top 25 Poll. The No. 6 ranking is the highest ranking for the Golden Bears since 2004 when they were ranked fourth. Cal has now been ranked in the top 10 in each of the last four years.
With its No. 6 ranking in the most recent Associated Press poll, Cal has now been ranked for 21 straight weeks and 47 of the last 51 weeks. The Golden Bears have been ranked higher than No. 6 for just five weeks (all in 2004) in the last 54 years. Overall, Cal has been ranked in the top six 36 times in the history of the AP poll.
California has posted an all-time mark of 15-13-1 (.534) record in Pac-10 opening games and a 54-33-4 (.615) all-time record in conference openers. Under head coach Jeff Tedford, the Golden Bears are 4-1 in league openers, including wins in each of the last four years (Arizona State in 2006; Washington in 2005; Oregon State in 2004; and USC in 2003).The Bears have battled the Wildcats in Pac-10 openers on six occasions with Arizona holding a 3-2-1 advantage with all of the games being tight contests the six games have been decided by a total of 25 points, including a 23-23 tie in 1983. The most recent Pac-10 opener between these two teams was a 20-15 victory by Arizona in 1995.
Bears-Wildcats: Arizona Played Spoiler Last Season for Golden Bears
Antoine Cason returned an interception 39 yards for a touchdown to lead Arizona to a 24-20 upset of California (ranked No. 8) on Nov. 11 last season in Tucson. The Wildcats rallied from a 17-3 third quarter deficit to stun the Golden Bears. DeSean Jackson returned a punt 95 yards for a touchdown and caught a 62-yard touchdown pass for Cal, while Marshawn Lynch rushed for 102 yards in the losing effort. With the game tied at 17 early in the fourth quarter, Cal quarterback Nate Longshore threw a sideline pass for fullback Byron Storer. But Cason stepped in front of the receiver, intercepted the ball and raced untouched down the sideline to give Arizona its first lead of the game. The Bears answered immediately with Longshore's 44-yard pass to Lavelle Hawkins, who was alone behind the secondary but stumbled and was down at the Arizona 1. Cal failed to score on two Lynch runs and an incomplete pass and settled for a 20-yard field goal by Tom Schneider. On Cal's last possession, Longshore hit Jackson for an apparent 63-yard touchdown pass with 2:18 to play. But the score was nullified by a video review, which showed that Jackson stepped out at Arizona's 41. Jackson finished with six receptions for 131 yards.
Cal-Arizona and Other Musings
Cal is 12-12-2 all-time versus Arizona dating back to 1978 ... Cal has won three of its last four meetings with the Wildcats ... Arizona won four straight meetings over Cal from 1997-2002 ... Cal did not play Arizona in 1999 or 2000 ... The wildest game (no pun intended) occurred in 1996 in Berkeley, when Cal defeated Arizona 56-55 in four overtimes ... Cal and Arizona had two games that resulted in a tie, and both occurred in Berkeley -- 33-33 on Oct. 1, 1983 and 23-23 on Oct. 10, 1987 ... Cal is 5-6-2 at home vs. Arizona in its series history ... the 16 combined touchdowns and the 111 points scored in that 1996 contest both rank as the second-most (in those respective categories) in Cal record book ... the 1254 total yards game in the 1996 battle is a school record ... Pat Barnes' 503 yards passing in that tilt still stands as a school record ... Arizona's starting quarterback, Willie Tuitama, is a native of Stockton ... other notable Cal-Arizona connections include A.J. Simmons, a redshirt freshman (Oakland) who attended Bishop O'Dowd HS ... Cal has three players that attended Bishop O'Dowd - Jesse Brooks, Drew Glover and Cameron Toler.
Cal-Louisiana Tech Afterthoughts
The victory over Louisiana Tech was the 300th Cal win in Memorial Stadium since the stadium's inception in 1923 ... the game attendance of 58,057 marked the 20th straight home game with over 50,000 fans ... it was Cal's 13th game with over 40 points in its last 22 home games ... Lavelle Hawkins scored a touchdown on the opening kickoff of the game -- the last time a Golden Bear scored a touchdown on a kickoff was LaShaun Ward versus Arizona on Nov. 16, 2002 ... Deltha O'Neal was the last Cal player to return an opening kickoff of the game for a touchdown versus Navy in the 1996 Aloha Bowl (100-yard return) ... Cody Jones recorded his first career sack in the first quarter ... Marcus Ezeff recorded his first career sack (half sack was credited) in the first quarter ... Tyson Alulu (who was also in the sack) has now recorded a sack in two straight games ... Alualu had a blocked field goal in the game as well ... this is the third straight game that the Cal defense forced and recovered a fumble ... Brandon Hampton recorded his fourth career interception in the second quarter ... Craig Stevens recorded his first touchdown of the season (fifth of his career) in the second quarter ... Jahvid Best had his first touchdown reception of his career in the third quarter (Best helped the Bears set up the touchdown drive with a 41-yard kickoff return) ... Robert Peele recorded his second career interception in the third quarter ... Sean Young snared his third career reception in the third quarter - a career-best 19-yard catch ... Kevin Reilly had his first career game action (with Cal up 42-12) in the fourth quarter.
Pac-10 Superlatives (Through Sept. 16)
Cal's 160 total kickoff return yards (vs. Louisiana Tech) is the highest in a game the Pac-10 this season ... Cal's five sacks at Colorado State are the second-most ... Justin Forsett's 18 points scored (vs. Louisiana Tech) is the best this season his three touchdowns against the Bulldogs is also a conference-best ... DeSean Jackson and Jahvid Best rank 1-2 in total offense/yards per play (39-36.5 respectively) - both at Colorado State ... Jackson also holds the longest punt return in the league this season (77 yards vs. Tennessee).
Cal's opening day attendance of 72,516 vs. Tennessee marked the fourth sellout crowd in the last five home games. It was just the sixth non Big Game sellout in the last 51 years. The Bears sold out three games in 2006 (Oregon, UCLA and Stanford); it was the first time in over fifty years that Cal has sold out multiple games in the same season. The sellouts against Oregon and UCLA were just the fourth and fifth non-Big Game sellouts in the last 50 years. The other three sellouts all came against USC (1977, 1979 and 2005). The Golden Bears have sold out the Big Game against Stanford 15 times in the last 50 years.
Whose House? Our House!
Cal now has 20 victories in its last 22 home games after its 42-12 win over Louisiana Tech. The Bears won 10 straight home games from Oct. 25, 2003-Oct. 1, 2005, and have a current nine-game home winning streak dating back to Sept. 9, 2006. Cal has averaged 40 points per contest, while limiting its opposition to just 18 points per game during the current nine-game streak. Overall, Cal is out-scoring opponents 814-401 (average of 37-18.2) over the last 22 games. In the fourth quarter of the last 22 games, Cal has topped foes, 216-89. The only two losses suffered in Memorial Stadium were to Oregon State (Oct. 15, 2005) and to USC (Nov. 12, 2005), who was ranked No. 1 at the time.
The Bears donned their gold uniforms for the season-opener vs. Tennessee, and improved to 4-0 in games when it wears the alternate jersey (Oregon, UCLA, Texas A&M, Tennessee).
Tedford's Non-conference Mark
Head coach Jeff Tedford has posted a 19-6 non-conference record, including wins over three ranked opponents (No. 15 Tennessee, Sept. 1, 2007; No. 21 Texas A&M, Dec. 28, 2006; No. 23 Michigan State, Sept. 14, 2002).
Cal won 28 league games over the last five years (Jeff Tedford's tenure), the second-most in the Pac-10 ... Cal has had at least one 100-yard rusher in 43 of 66 games under Tedford, meanwhile, its opponents have had just 16 games with 100-yard rushers ... Cal had 58 pass plays of 20 or more yards in 2006 ... the Golden Bears also had 49 other plays (rushing, punt returns, kickoff returns and interception returns) of over 20 yards since 2006 ... in three games this year, the Bears already have 32 plays of 20 yards or more ...in 2006, Cal had 28 scores that took less than two minutes ... the Bears also had 19 scoring drives that lasted less than 2:00, as well as three interception return TDs, four punt returns for touchdowns, a safety and a fumble return score ... 2006 also marked the first time since 1949 that Cal started 6-0 in conference play.
Entering the season, many prognosticators rated Cal's special teams units as the best in the country. Thus far that lofty praise have been justified. Cal has scored on a punt return (DeSean Jackson's 77-yarder against Tennessee) and a kickoff return (Lavelle Hawkins game-opening 90-yarder against Louisiana Tech) and the Bears lead the Pac-10 in kickoff return average (31.7) and rank second in punt return average (17.1). In addition, Tyson Alualu recorded a blocked field goal and placekicker Jordan Kay has nailed three of his four field goal attempts while punter Andrew Larson continues to excel.
Second Quarter Surge
In their 3-0 start, the Golden Bears have proven to be very potent offensively and defensively, but the second quarter has been extra painful for opponents. In three games, Cal has out-scored its opponents 48-20 in the second. Interestingly, there is little disparity in total yards in this year's second quarters (Cal leads 393-290), but the Bears have used big plays to boost their scoring. DeSean Jackson's 77-yard punt return against Tennessee came in the second quarter and Justin Forsett's career-long 39-yard touchdown run was in the second against Louisiana Tech. In the Colorado State game, Jordan Kay booted a career-best 47-yard field goal in the final seconds of the first half, which gave Cal a 17-14 lead.
DeSean Jackson showed once again why he is the nation's best game breaker and the front-runner for the Heisman Trophy after his performance on the road at Colorado State. Jackson helped Cal knot the score at 7-7 after his career-high 73-yard end-around in the first quarter. He finished the day with a team-high 141 all-purpose yards. In addition, four of his first five touches went for first downs. In his opening-day performance against Tennessee, Jackson took his first punt return 77 yards for a touchdown to give Cal a 21-14 lead in the second quarter. It was his sixth career punt return for a touchdown, both school and conference records. To put this record in further perspective, Jackson has scored six touchdowns on just 35 returns. NCAA record-holders Wes Welker (Texas Tech) had eight on 152 returns, and Antonio Perkins (Oklahoma) had eight on 113 returns. Jackson touched the ball only six times (one return, four catches, one run) for 143 yards vs. the Volunteers, but three of them went for first downs and one made it second-and-1. His third reception of the game (in the third quarter) gave him 100 for his career. Last season, Jackson had four punt return touchdowns, setting a school-record 18.2 punt return average.
Jackson's TDs on punt returns
Sept. 1, 2007: 77 yards vs. Tennessee
Nov. 11, 2006: 95 yards vs. Arizona
Nov. 4, 2006: 72 yards vs. UCLA
Oct. 7, 2006: 65 yards vs. Oregon
Sept. 23, 2006: 80 yards vs. Arizona State
Sept. 3, 2005: 49 yards vs. Sacramento State
Other Notes on DeSean ...
>> Needs four touchdowns to tie Geoff McArthur for fourth on the all-time career receiving touchdowns list (20) >> Needs 226 yards receiving to crack Cal's top 10 career receiving yards chart >> Has led the Bears in receiving the last two seasons >> Ranks first in school history in career punt return average (18.7), touchdowns (6) and single-season average (18.20) >> Owns three of the 11 longest punt returns for touchdowns in school history (95 at Arizona, 80 vs. Arizona State, 77 vs. Tennessee)
Junior Nate Longshore, who stepped into the starting role at quarterback in 2006, picked up right where he left off last season -- throwing with accuracy and efficiency. Longshore has completed 67 percent of his passes this season against just one interception, including a season-high 22 completions for 230 yards and two touchdowns in Cal's 42-12 win over Louisiana Tech. Longshore has utilized his offensive arsenal, completing passes to 11 different targets this season. Longshore has also thrown for over 200 yards in seven of his last nine contests. He has thrown just two interceptions and has been sacked just three times in his last five games. As a sophomore last season, he directed the California offense to a Pac-10 best 32.8 points per game and became just the second Golden Bear to pass for over 3,000 yards in a single season (3,021). He completed over 60 percent of his passes and ranked second in the Pac-10 in passing efficiency (141.64), touchdowns and third in yards per game (232.4) as he earned honorable mention all-league honors. The 6-5, 233-pounder was extra deadly with the long ball, completing 51 passes of 20 yards or more, including 19 to DeSean Jackson.
Other Notes on Nate ...
>> Needs two more touchdowns to crack Cal's top 10 career passing TDs list (has 29 career passing touchdowns) >> Needs one more 300-yard passing game to move to eighth all-time in 300-yard career passing games
Forsett at the Forefront
>> Ranks No. 1 in the league in rushing (122.3 ypg) ... ranks No. 1 in the league in scoring (five TDs) ... ranks third in all-purpose yards (139.7/g)
Senior Justin Forsett has taken over the No. 1 tailback slot after paying his dues for three years in a secondary back role. Forsett had a rushing touchdown for the third straight game this season (fourth game in a row, dating back to last season's Holiday Bowl) in Cal's 42-12 win over Louisiana Tech. His 39-yard scamper vs. the Bulldogs was the longest touchdown run of his career. It also was the first time in Forsett's career that he had three rushing touchdowns. Marshawn Lynch was the last Golden Bear with three rushing touchdowns in a game (2005 Las Vegas Bowl). Forsett finished the game with 152 yards (eighth 100-yard and sixth 150-yard rushing game of his career). In just his fifth career start (season-opener vs. Tennessee), Forsett generated 156 yards on 26 carries (6.0 average). It was the fourth-highest rushing total for an opening day in program history. He also had a career-best 49-yard reception vs. the Volunteers towards the end of the first half. Forsett currently ranks 10th all-time with 2,041 career yards rushing. He has a career average of 6.3 yards per carry. Top 10 program rushers J.J. Arrington and Marshawn Lynch are the only two RBs to have a higher career yards per carry average (6.6) than Forsett.
Give Him the Ball
The Louisiana Tech game marked just the fifth time that Justin Forsett had more than 15 carries in a game. And, surprisingly, the 152 yards were his lowest output in one of those games. In five games with more than 15 carries, the senior back is averaging 178.6 rushing yards.
9/17/05: Illinois (6-187, 2 TDs)
9/23/05: New Mexico State (31-235, 1 TD)
10/7/06: Oregon (27-163, 1 TD)
9/1/07: Tennessee (26-156, 1 TD)
9/15/07: Louisiana Tech (23-152, 3 TDs)
Some have questioned Justin Forsett's durability, but if they see some of the senior back's fourth-quarter numbers, they may rethink that. Against Tennessee, Forsett rushed 12 times for 92 yards (7.8 yards per carry) as he helped the Bears seal the victory. Last year, in the Oregon game, the 5-8, 196-pounder had 16 carries for 115 yards (7.2 yards per carry) in the fourth quarter of that victory over a ranked opponent.
Other Notes on Justin ...
>> Ranks 10th in career rushing touchdowns at Cal
>> Needs 111 yards for 2,000 career rushing yards
>> Ranks No. 1 in the league in kick return avg. (33.2 ypg) ... ranks No. 3 in the league in receptions/gm (6.33) ... ranks third in all-purpose yards (139.7/g)
Lavelle Hawkins scored a touchdown on the opening kickoff of the Louisiana Tech game, making it the first time since 2002 that a Golden Bear scored a touchdown on a kickoff (LaShaun Ward versus Arizona on Nov. 16). Deltha O'Neal was the last Cal player to return an opening kickoff of the game for a touchdown versus Navy (100-yard return in the 1996 Aloha Bowl). And for the third consecutive week, Hawkins paced Cal's deadly receiving corps with seven catches for 87 yards. His 43-yard performance at Colorado State gave him 1,000 yards for his career. In the season opener vs. Tennessee, Hawkins had a team-high seven catches for 90 yards and a touchdown. That touchdown reception was his fourth straight game with a TD. Hawkins also returned four kicks for 87 yards to finish with a career-best 177 all-purpose yards against the Volunteers. He leads the team with 419 all-purpose yards. He was an honorable mention All-Pac-10 pick last season behind 46 grabs for 705 yards and five scores.
Big Play RJ
A veteran of 34 games and 29 starts, Robert Jordan has nine receptions for for 70 yards and a touchdown this season, including a season-high five balls in Cal's 42-12 win over Louisiana Tech. He has now caught at least one pass in his last 33 games, the third-longest run in the nation among returning players. Jordan needs two more receptions to crack Cal's top 10 career receptions chart. He had 43 receptions (career-high) for 511 yards (career-high) and four scores in 2006.
Other Notes on Robert ...
>> Needs two more receptions to crack Cal's top 10 career receptions chart
>> Division I-A Consecutive Reception Streak, 9/16/07 (Active)
1. Marcus Monk (Sr. Arkansas): 36
2. Brandon Allen (Sr. New Mexico St.): 35
3. Robert Jordan (Sr. California): 33
4. Dorien Bryant (Sr. Purdue): 30
4. Terrence Nunn (Sr. Nebraska): 30
6. Travis Brown (Sr. New Mexico) 28
LBs Making Impact
The Cal linebacking corps has shown why it should be considered one of the best in the nation. In three games, the LBs have combined for 98 tackles (eight for losses), 4.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and one interception. Junior Anthony Felder paces the corps with 32 tackles and two sacks, including a career-high 13 tackles and two sacks at Colorado State. Zack Follett and Worrell Williams certainly made their presence felt against Tennessee, especially on the Vols' opening drive. Follet's hit on Eric Ainge jarred the ball loose which was promptly scooped up by Williams, who returned it 44 yards for a touchdown, giving the Bears an early 7-0 lead. It was Williams' first career fumble recovery and touchdown. It was also Follett's seventh career forced fumble (Follett led the Pac-10 last season with four forced fumbles). Justin Moye recorded his first career interception at Colorado State.
The Golden Bears graduated three starters from the defensive line and came into the 2007 season looking for some players to step up into key roles. The task has become even more challenging as the injury bug has hit the line. Junior Mika Kane missed the Colorado State game and most of the Louisiana Tech game after suffering a concussion, while Rulon Davis and Matt Malele are both questionable against Arizona due to injuries. A group of unheralded players have been given the opportunity to step up. Fifth-year senior John Allen recovered a key fumble in the LA Tech game and sophomore Tad Smith has been a regular on the line. Redshirt freshman Derrick Hill snagged an interception in the Colorado State game and nearly added another against Louisiana Tech. Sophomore Cody Jones has started the last two games and registered his first career sack while sophomore Tyson Alualu has tallied a team-best 2.5 sacks this year. Cameron Jordan has also been a key contributor as just a true freshman in defensive line coach Ken Delgados corps.
Other Defensive Notes ...
>> Cal's defense has forced and recovered a fumble in all three games this season
It didn't take long for true freshman Jahvid Best to score his first collegiate touchdown -- a career-long 64-yard run for paydirt at Colorado State -- in his second career game. Now Best can add his first career receiving touchdown to his resume after snaring a 16-yard reception versus Louisiana Tech -- his third career game. Best finished the La Tech game with 84 all-purpose yards. Best's first collegiate touchdown was not the fastest for a true freshman. Former Cal Bear Marshawn Lynch and current Bear Justin Forsett both scored touchdowns in their collegiate debuts in 2004 at Air Force. Best gained 103 all-purpose yards in his collegiate debut vs. Tennessee, including a long run of 34 yards. For the season, Best has 146 yards on nine carries (16.2 ypc) and a touchdown.
The Golden Bears suffered what could have been a key injury on August 23 when junior fullback Will Ta'ufo'ou sprained his knee in a preseason scrimmage. The initial prognosis was that he would be out 3-6 weeks, however, the hard-working back returned to the lineup in just nine days, seeing significant action against Tennessee. He had two carries in short-yardage situations and bulled his way for six and eight yards respectively. He also had a career-best 15-yard reception in the game. Ta'ufo'ou played at Colorado State and gained three yards on his lone carry. He motored for a 17-yard reception vs. Louisiana Tech as well.
K Is Okay
For the third straight week, junior Jordan Kay filled in for the injured Tom Schneider for the kicking duties. And even though Kay failed to convert a 40-yard field goal in the first quarter against Louisiana Tech, he has delivered for his team in the two previous games, nailing a career-long 47-yard field goal right before haltime at Colorado State, giving the Bears a 17-14 lead. Kay tacked on a 41-yarder in the third quarter as well. Kay made his collegiate debut, connecting on all six of his point-after attempts and also booting a 27-yard field goal in the victory. The Rolling Hills, Calif., product has battled multiple knee injuries, but has persevered after an All-American high school career.
Already a two-time All-Pac-10 selection, Craig Stevens returns for his senior season as one of the top tight ends in the nation. Stevens recorded his first touchdown of the season versus Louisiana Tech on a 17-yard third-down pass. Last season, he tallied 17 catches for 239 yards, including seven catches on third or fourth down - all for first downs. He is also a force in the blocking game and was voted a team captain following the season.
The California Athletic Department and website partner CSTV (College Sports Television) launched a Heisman Trophy promotional website for junior wide receiver DeSean Jackson entitled the1towatch.com. "The 1 to Watch" features flash animation for the introduction before taking the viewer to the main page. Once on the site, fans can navigate eight tabs to find such information as up-to-date video highlights, a player profile and photo galleries. The four tabs at the top of the page include a "video" link which allows fans to see packaged highlights of Jackson. Fans can get to know Jackson on a personal level with the "1-on-1" tab, which allows the user to know what his life is like on and off the field. Finally, there is the "national attention" link which directs the viewer to see what other coaches, players, football analysts and teammates are saying about Jackson. Additional links provide navigation to CalBears.com, other Cal football all-star candidates, the Cal Bears football page and any breaking news on Jackson.
Another Tailback U?
USC has been widely recognized as tailback u (university) because of the legendary running backs it has produced. But Cal is starting to build that same reputation based on the track record of head coach Jeff Tedford. Under Tedford Cal has produced a 1,000-yard rusher every season since 2002. Here are four more Cal rushing factoids:
>> Cal has rushed for over 200 yards in four straight games (dating back to last year's Holiday Bowl ... this season, the Bears are averaging 230.7 yards per game on the ground
>> J.J. Arrington is the last NCAA Division I running back to rush for 2000 yards in a season
>> The Golden Bears are the only Division I (BCS Conference) to have a 1,000 yard and a 600 yard running back four straight seasons (since 2003)
>> Prior to the start of the 2007 season, Cal had the most rushing yards in the Pac-10 over the past five seasons (11,668) from 2002-06
As of Sept. 17, nine Cal football games will be aired on television this season. Tennessee (9/1, ABC, 5 p.m.), Colorado State (9/8, CSTV, 11 a.m.), Louisiana Tech (9/15, Comcast Sports, 3:30), Arizona (10/22, Versus, 3 p.m.), Oregon (10/29, ABC, 12:30), Arizona State (10/27, FSN, 7 p.m.), Washington State (11/3, FSN, 7 p.m.), USC (Nov. 10, ABC/ESPN/ESPN2, 5 p.m.) and Stanford (12/1, Versus, 4 p.m.) will be televised. In the first five years of head coach Jeff Tedford's tenure, 47 Cal football games were televised; in the five years prior to that, 30 Cal games were televised. National television broadcasts have more than doubled in that time. The Colorado State game marked Cal's first game on CSTV while the Arizona game will be Cal's debut on Versus. Versus is a national cable network that is available in 72 million homes. To find out if Versus is available in specific areas, visit www.versus.com and input the zip code for that area. On Comcast in the Bay Area, it is Channel 75, while on Direct TV, it is Channel 603.
50,000 Fans Again
The Louisiana Tech attendance of 58,057 marked the 20th straight home game with over 50,000 fans. That streak includes every home game in the last four years and is even more impressive when compared to the days before the current streak. In the first 13 home games under head coach Jeff Tedford (in 2002 and 2003), Cal attracted over 50,000 fans just twice. The Tennessee game was also the 11th game of 60,000+ fans under Tedford; Cal had nine 60,000+ games in the 12 years prior to Tedford's arrival.
The Golden Bears established a new record for average attendance in 2006 with an average of 64,318 fans per game. Including three sellouts. California had a total of 450,223 fans at seven home games. The previous record for the Bears was in 2004 when they averaged 64,019.
The Golden Ticket
Cal established a new season ticket sales record for the 2007 football season -- 41,336, eclipsing last seasons sales mark of 40,262. The Golden Bears surpassed last year's total of 40,262. Since the arrival of head coach Jeff Tedford, California's season ticket count has been on a steady climb. The Bears sold 16,200 season passes in 2002 -- Tedford's first year. His second season resulted in sales of 22,500. In 2004, the number again jumped substantially, up to a then-school-record 34,100. In 2005, the Bears set another mark with 40,134 season tickets sold and again in 2006 (40,262).
2006 marked the first time since the 1975 season that California earned a share of the Pac-10 Conference championship ... Cal secured the co-championship after its 26-17 victory over Stanford (Dec. 2) coupled with a UCLA upset victory over USC in Pasadena also on Dec. 2 ... Both Cal and USC finished 7-2 in league play ... In 1975, Cal tied with UCLA for the league title, but the head-to-head loss to the Bruins denied a Rose Bowl bid. Cal's 27-14 league mark over the last five years (Jeff Tedford's tenure) is the second-best record in the Pac-10 in that time ... This is the 12th conference title for the Bears and just the seventh in the last 75 years. Here's a look at Cal's title teams:
Year: Overall (Conf) - Note
1918: 7-2 (2-0 Pacific Coast) - Beat Oregon and Stanford
1920: 9-0 (3-0 Pacific Coast) - First national championship for Cal
1921: 9-0-1 (4-0 Pacific Coast) - Brick Muller is first Cal All-American
1922: 9-0 (4-0 Pacific Coast) - Outscores opponents, 146-7
1923: 9-0-1 (5-0 Pacific Coast) - Wonder Team continues to roll
1937: 10-0-1 (6-0-1 Pacific Coast) - Thunder Team beats Alabama in Rose Bowl
1948: 10-1 (6-0 Pacific Coast) - Pappy's Boys return to Rose Bowl
1949: 10-1 (7-0 Pacific Coast) - No. 3 in final AP poll
1950: 9-1-1 (5-0-1 Pacific Coast) - Third straight Rose Bowl appearance
1958: 7-4 (6-1 Pacific Coast) - Last Rose Bowl for California
1975: 8-3 (6-1 Pac-8) - Chuck Muncie leads Bears to title
2006: 10-3 (7-2 Pac-10) - Beat Texas A&M, 45-10, in Holiday Bowl
The Tedford Era
Jeff Tedford, now in his sixth year at the helm of the Bears, has quickly brought the program into another "Golden" Age. The Bears' current five year record of 43-20 (.683) is among the best-ever at Cal.
Era (Years): Record (Pct.) - Highlights
The Wonder Teams (1920-24): 44-0-4 (.958) - Three National Titles
The Thunder Teams (1937-38): 20-1-1 (.932) - One Championship
Pappy's Boys (1947-52): 53-9 (.855) - Three Rose Bowls
The Tedford Era (2002-current): 46-20 (.697) - Four bowls
Early 90s (1990-93): 30-17 (.638) - Three bowls
Mike White Era (1972-77): 35-30 (.538) - Last conf. title (`75)
Cal Corrals Fifth Straight Winning Season
Since posting the worst record at Cal in 104 years (1-10) in 2001, the Golden Bears have rolled to five straight winning seasons since the arrival of head coach Jeff Tedford. In Tedford's first season (2002), he guided the Bears to a 7-5 mark - the school's first winning record in nine years. The 2004 club climbed as high as No. 4 in the nation and finished 10-2. Last year, Cal won eight games and in 2006, the Bears finished 10-3, marking the first time the Golden Bears have had five straight winning seasons in over 50 years (Pappy Waldorf's juggernaut teams reeled off six straight winning marks from 1947-52).
In the five years under Jeff Tedford, the Golden Bears have averaged 34.1 points per game, by far the most in any five-year stretch in school history. In fact, Tedford-coached teams own five of the top six slots in single-season scoring in the modern era of football in Berkeley.
Cal Single-Season Scoring Records (since World War II)
Year - Total Points (Average)
2003 - 457 (32.6)
2004 - 441 (36.8)
2002 - 427 (35.6)
2006 - 427 (32.8)
1991 - 406 (36.9)
2005 - 395 (32.9)
Juniors Alex Mack, Zack Follett, Nate Longshore and DeSean Jackson and seniors Craig Stevens and Justin Forsett have been prominent in many of the national Watch Lists. Mack is on three Watch Lists including the Outland Trophy (best interior lineman), the Rotary Lombardi Award (top lineman) and the Rimington Trophy (most outstanding center). Follett landed a spot on the Bednarik Trophy list (nation's top defensive player) and the Lott IMPACT Trophy, which recognizes athletic performance and the personal character attributes of the player. Jackson has secured spots on the Maxwell and Walter Camp Trophy lists -- both of which honor the nation's best player. Longshore is also on three Watch Lists -- the Manning and Davey O'Brien Awards, which are given to the nation's top quarterback, and the Walter Camp Award Watch List, which honors the nation's best player. Stevens landed a spot on the John Mackey Award Watch List -- given annually to the nation's top tight end. Forsett secured a spot on the Doak Walker Award Watch List which is presented to the nation's top RB.
Cal Picked 2nd in Pac-10 Media Poll
For the fourth consecutive season the University of California football team was picked to finish second in the Pac-10 Media Poll released on July 26. Four-time defending Pac-10 champion USC was a unanimous selection to win the conference title as voted by West Coast media members who regularly cover the league. It marks the fifth consecutive year the Trojans have been the choice to win the title. The Trojans captured all 39 first-place votes. The Golden Bears garnered 323 points, while third-place pick, UCLA, collected 305 points, followed by Arizona State (242), Oregon State (237), Oregon (226), Arizona (162), Washington State (115), Washington (98) and Stanford (47).
Pac-10 Media Day Chatter
Jeff Tedford general remarks: "We are very excited about the upcoming season and to report to camp on the fifth of August. The players' commitment has been great through the summer. We have a lot of experience and I feel that the investment has been made to compete for a championship. We have great leadership, DeSean [Jackson] being one of them and a big part of what we do. Having to replace Daymeion Hughes and Marshawn Lynch, both Players of the Year, will be a challenge. We feel Justin Forsett can move right in and take over and we'll have some young guys competing at corner. We had a rough game at Tennessee last year, and we need redemption. It's not about revenge, we just need to focus on ourselves. This Conference is very balanced so we have to bring our "A" game. I have great confidence in our players and our staff to be prepared each and every week."
Preseason National Chatter
The Golden Bears have received plenty of national exposure this off-season and are ranked in the top 25 by several other national outlets.
No. 9 - ESPN.com
No. 11 - Athlon Sports
No. 11 - Street & Smith's
No. 12 - ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll
No. 12 - AP
No. 12 - The Sporting News
No. 12 - Lindy's
No. 15 - Rivals.com
No. 16 - CBS Sportsline
No. 18 - College Football News
No. 19 - NationalChamps.net
No. 20 - Sports Illustrated